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From our Articles
Associations call for more legal certainty

The VDMA and other associations are urging the German government and the European Commission to quickly ensure legal certainty and find long-term political solutions.

The Commission proposal for harmonised AI rules

The EU Commission has published a proposal for a regulation to regulate artificial intelligence (AI). AI in machines may also be affected as "high risk AI", for example when it comes to safety components.

Consultation of the EU-Commission on the Data Act

The EU-Commission has launched a consultation on the Data Act. This law, which is to be passed this year, aims among other things to facilitate access to company data.

Industry 4.0 - Contract design is necessary

The digital age also requires the automation of business transactions. This requires pre-formulated contractual terms. German AGB law stands in the way of this.

Covid-19: The pandemic and its legal consequences

The Covid-19 pandemic raises many issues, such as employment and contract law and tax law. In addition, there are numerous requirements for travel.

Bureaucratic monster hinders EU single market

For work assignments within Europe, the three topics of "reporting requirements", "social law: A1 certificate" and "labour law: posting directive" are increasingly coming into focus.

Transparency Register - Need for action by companies

As a result of the amendment to the Money Laundering Act, companies are obliged to enter information on the beneficial owner in the transparency register.

Holiday reduction outside short-time work "zero" inadmissible

Employer is not entitled to reduce recreational leave in proportion to the annual working days in case of short-time work, if there is no short-time work "zero" at the basis.

Bundestag passes supply chain law

On 11 June 2021, the Bundestag passed the Supply Chain Duty of Care Act (Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz, LkSG). The final referral of the law by the Bundesrat could take place on 25 June 2021.

No right to unrestricted data copy

The Federal Labour Court leaves the question on the scope of the right to copy data open, but at least requires a specific cause of action.

Sharing of costs in case of cancellation of hotel rooms due to pandemic

The Higher Regional Court of Cologne (Case No.: 1 U 9/21) has ruled that a cancellation of hotel rooms booked before the outbreak of the pandemic justifies a 50/50 split of the booking costs.

Using lifts safely even in a pandemic

Millions of people use elevators every day - but how safe is it in times of a pandemic? The latest episode of the VDMA's industry podcast is about infection-free use of lifts during the Corona pandemic. Even simple measures can make elevators safer for people.

Bundestag decides on women's quota on management boards

The Bundestag has passed the second law on executive positions. In future, large companies in Germany will have to give greater consideration to women when filling positions at the highest management level.

Focus on open markets and global partnerships

The EU Commission is drawing its lessons from the Corona pandemic. From the VDMA's point of view, it is clear that only open markets and global partnerships contribute to economic recovery.

Entry USA - New criteria for issuing an NIE

As of May 27, 2021, the U.S. Department of State has expanded opportunities for business travel to the United States. Travel opportunities for VDMA member companies will improve significantly as a result.

Reform of Dual-Use Regulation: Hardly any impact on mechanical engineering

Brussels has reformed the export control of dual-use goods. For mechanical engineering, hardly anything changes, but: The new version of the Dual-Use Regulation has - once again - become more complicated.

Supply chain law - paper tiger or sharp sword?

The Supply Chain Act is as good as passed. The "Tech Affair - Industry for Future" podcast from the VDW shows just how divided opinions are on the subject with a pointed debate. In this case, a significantly involved politician is also on board when it comes to the question "Supply chains: Who's going to fix it?"

The right labour market policy for greater competitiveness

Competitiveness, sustainable growth and long-term employment security require adaptability to a dynamic environment and a flexible labour market.

Further develop the rules of the internal market

The uncoordinated border closures during the Corona pandemic have shown that the internal market is not crisis-proof. It must be strengthened, which is why a new Schengen strategy is the right thing to do. Member States must seek European solutions.

Coalition reaches agreement on due diligence law

Agreement reached by coalition partners on Supply Chain Due Diligence Act increases likelihood of passage in this legislative session.

Rising material prices: Support offered by VDMA

The current cost development on the raw material markets puts VDMA members under pressure. Legal options for action are limited and associated with hurdles.

Further judgements on protection of trade secrets

Since the introduction of the Trade Secrets Act, many VDMA members have been faced with quite challenging tasks in order to obtain legal protection of valuable information.

VDMA welcomes agreement on Covid certificate

The EU has agreed on the introduction of an EU Covid certificate. This will facilitate freedom of movement, which is an advantage when companies send technicians to other EU member states, for example.

Bundestag passes company modernization law

On 21 May 2021, the Bundestag passed the Act to Promote Works Council Elections and Works Council Work in a Digital Working World ("Works Council Modernisation Act").

Despite criticism: State investment audit tightened up

Many affected machine builders have not yet noticed: anyone who produces even a small special component for armaments has been subject to investment auditing since May 1, 2021.

Temporary employment: BMAS presents draft bill

In April, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) presented a draft amendment to the law on fixed-term contracts, which in part further tightens the agreements of the coalition agreement.

Vaccination by company doctors

From 07 June 2021, company doctors will also be involved in the decentralised COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

Cancellation of trade fair also a case of force majeure without official order

The Regional Court of Cologne has ruled that the cancellation of a trade fair scheduled for March 2020 at the end of February 2020 was not culpably in breach of duty - despite the absence of an official order at the time.

Involve company doctors in vaccination campaign in a timely manner

The federal government has announced that it will involve company doctors in the vaccination strategy at the beginning of June. In order for the campaign against the Corona virus to gain further momentum, the promise must be implemented.

Does the "limited liability company with tied assets" have a future?

On the initiative of a group of companies, the "Stiftung Verantwortungseigentum" (Responsible Ownership Foundation) has been established to advocate for the creation of a special form of GmbH with tied assets.

Digital policy needs more weight in parliament and government

Cooperation within Europe on digital policy must improve. The industry needs efficient political structures and competent contacts. And it needs a common, interoperable cloud and data infrastructure.

A European green certificate gets Europe moving again

The EU should quickly agree on a single European vaccination passport and introduce the Digital Green Certificate across Europe. This would greatly facilitate the posting of workers within the EU.

Quarantine regulations for entry and return to Germany

End of the patchwork: Federal government standardizes regulations for entry and quarantine as of May 13, 2021. Some state regulations are still in force.

"Industry 4.0 sample contract (platforms)"

The Industrie 4.0 Platform provides members of the VDMA with a "Sample contract Industrie 4.0 platforms"

Finally a clear view of assembly services in Switzerland

Reporting procedure, 90-day rule and wage calculation: VDMA info sheet provides practical tips for optimum planning of work assignments in Switzerland.

Commission plans new digital reporting form

The Commission outlined its plan to introduce a voluntary single form for reporting the posting of workers. This could end the patchwork of reporting requirements.

Corona virus: Specific offers of the East German federal states

From contact persons to support programmes: In connection with the corona virus, the federal states have compiled regionally specific information and assistance for companies.

UK: Upswing ahead?

The initial fog of the Brexit has lifted. To stay on the ball now in the machinery market in the UK, machine builders should keep an eye on current market developments. The updated UK Chartpack of the VDMA makes the most important developments visible. In particular, the recent progress of the Corona pandemic gives reason to hope for a rapid upswing.

No silent consent to amended GTC

The German Federal Supreme Court (BGH) has declared General Terms and Conditions (AGB) of a bank invalid in its ruling of 27.04.2021 (XI ZR 26/20).

Worker participation has its limits

Co-operation between companies and their workforces is firmly anchored within the culture of mechanical and plant engineering - and successfully so. But worker participation has its limits. Constantly making new claims to extend it is counterproductive.

Guidance: Placing products on the UK market after Brexit

At the end of 2020, the UK has left the EU with implications for the placing of products on the UK market. Among other things, the CE mark will be replaced by a UKCA mark in the future.

"Brexit deal now needs renegotiation"

The trade agreement between the EU and the UK brings a little stability to the tense situation. But some things need to be renegotiated, for example the rules on the posting of workers.

A functioning labour market needs fixed-term contracts

Interventions in labour law intended to protect employees turn against the interests of employees in economically volatile times.

New Member of the New York Convention UNC

Belize becomes 168th member of UN Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards

New Contracting State of the UN Sales Convention

Portugal becomes 94th member of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG)

Amendment of the Money Laundering Act

Government draft of the Transparency Financial Information Act Money Laundering brings further burdens for companies.

Reporting requirements: Hafniums Exchange Server Hack

Different authority requirements: In addition to reporting obligations, notification obligations are also on the horizon!

Handout on anonymisation published

For many companies in the mechanical engineering industry, the anonymization of personal data is a practical, albeit difficult, way to meet the requirements of data protection law.

Publication of antitrust law considerations published

Industry 4.0 applications are also subject to antitrust assessment: the publication of the Industry 4.0 Platform provides approaches and answers to this question.

Intensified negotiations on successor data protection agreement

The EU and US have agreed to intensify negotiations on the transatlantic data transfer

To the point

To the point

Auf den Punkt Zitat Legal

"The Supply Chain Act is a political fiasco."

Thilo Brodtmann, VDMA Executive Director

Auf den Punkt Zahl Legal


per cent decline in employment

in mechanical and plant engineering in Germany at the end of 2020.

Source: VDMA

Auf den Punkt Zusammenfassung Recht

A new start is needed for the Supply Chain act
  • The legislative process must be reinitiated with appropriate involvement of the industry
  • It is necessary to find a practical approach that will actually serve human rights
  • For this purpose, the VDMA will actively participate in the industry dialog that the German federal government is conducting with other organizations

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Other VDMA Services
Your contact persons in the Legal Department
for legal issues in mechanical engineering - exclusively for our member companies


Our publications
Guides, leaflets, and more for our members: The "focus Recht" series and other publications from the Legal department address members' legal queries clearly and comprehensibly.


Newsletter Legal Department
The monthly legal update for the mechanical engineering industry - exclusively for member companies
The Legal Department offers seminars and events for member companies covering current topics and legal queries, some of which are held in cooperation with the German Mechanical Engineering Institute (MBI).
VDMA Compliance Program
The VDMA promotes free and fair competition. In order to guarantee genuine and undistorted competition and legal security for members in their day-to-day association work, the VDMA is committed to a comprehensive compliance program.
Sample Contract/General Terms and Conditions
We provide sample contracts specific to the mechanical engineering sector as well as general terms and conditions for Germany and abroad - to ensure the legal protection of your business transactions.
Consulting, Information, Lectures
The legal department at the VDMA consists of a team of lawyers specializing in the capital goods industry. Here you will receive individualized legal input - competently, quickly and at no additional cost, tailor-made for the mechanical engineering sector.
Working Groups of the Legal Department
In our working groups, we share current information and enable specialist discussions. Topics covered by the working groups include plant construction law, labor law, compliance management and industrial property protection.


Annual Report of the Legal Department
The current annual report of the Legal Department for 2020 has been published. Member companies can download it here.


Legal Committee
Ausschuss Öffentliches Auftragswesen
The Public Procurement Committee deals with fundamental issues of national and European public procurement law as well as the contract terms and conditions of public contracting authorities. This involves, among other things, the preparation of statements or participation in the amendments to the contracting regulations VOB and VOL. The VDMA positions are submitted to the public procurement committees and the federal ministries in charge. The committee meets twice a year.


Markus Janse

OSMA - Aufzüge


Hess, Christian Dr. iur.

Legal Committee
The VDMA Legal Committee is the traditional central body of the VDMA Legal Department, currently consisting of about 65 heads of legal departments of member companies. In the VDMA Legal Committee, legal topics relevant to mechanical engineering are discussed in a dedicated exchange, legal problems are identified and VDMA positions are co-drafted. The committee, which meets once a year, deals with ongoing topics (reform of the General Terms and Conditions) as well as current legal issues (digitalization, etc.) and offers members space for the important exchange of experience.


Jörg Kondring

Voith GmbH & Co. KGaA

Legal Committee
Ausschuss Vertragsrecht
The Contract Law Committee is a body of commercial lawyers from VDMA member companies that meets twice a year and deals with current problems of contract law in Germany and abroad. Among other things, this grouping oversees the VDMA terms and conditions in cooperation with the VDMA legal department.


Ulrich Kugler



Janssen, Stefan Dr.

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